Progress and inventions are fascinating companions. When you consider that an inventor has to first of all learn everything that has gone before, as the years go by that must take longer and longer so there would logically be a point where people spend all their time relearing previous knowledge, then die before they can take things to their next level. Does this make sense, because if it does then Progress is about to finish!
And yet we do progress and Man does continue to invent new and incredible things. Only a hundred years ago the idea that computers would be in pretty well in everything electronic we own would have been laughable. Actually the concept of a computer, other than in SciFi would have been ridiculous then. Consider that the Apollo spaceship that first landed on the moon had less overall computer power than the most advanced digital watch now has....and who would trust their watch to take them to the moon! Most people don't really trust their GPS systems any more. Too many deep fords and cliffs!
Of course, for every brilliant invention there's been an unsung piece of insanity and those are often more intriguing than those than after for a few years we take for granted. Let's look at a few that shine and were even patended:-
- The combined tricycle and printing press must have thrilled athletic writers everywhere.
- A patent still exists to have a hollow "bullet" that could be dropped from the top of the Eiffel Tower to land in a large pool of water, only to be winched up again. Inside were to be a number of people sitting in padded seats who would pay for the privilege. Luckily it never took off...literally.
- Press a button on the side of your bowler hat an a mini umbrella shoots up. Great idea, so where are they? Maybe it was a windy day.
- The same Mr. Bessemer who invented the Bessemer Converter that revolutionised iron and steel processing, invented the Bessemer Saloon Steamer. The idea being that the entire interior of an ocean-going ship moved on gimbols so that no matter how much the ship rolled in rough seas the interior of the boat and all decks would remain level and stable
- Luckily Alexander Graham Bell had the foresight to invent a second unit when he invented the phone, otherwise he could have been waiting for years for the thing to ring. His other distinction was to be both the first and last person in the telephone directory. Nobody will ever be able to claim that again!
- In 1886 Edison proposed a means of communicating from a fast moving train to the next station. A great idea for reporting ahead any illness, or imminent baby delivery. It was a hundred years before the mobile phone was able to do the job, and even now the signal dives in and out like a nervous mouse. A few years ago I was on a train and one man was constantly using his mobile phone in a very loud voice. Everyone he was a broker because he was talking "sell / buy" ling and mentioned vast sums of money. He was also a pain in the bum! Then someone was taken ill and a doctor asked over the intercom if anyone had a mobile to warn the next station to have an ambulance ready. Everyone pointed the idiot who had to admit his phone was as much of a dummy as he was. He shrunk to the size of a deflated doll.
- The Americans spent millions to develop ballpoint pens that would write at any angle, including upside-down in outer space. The Russians used pencils.
That's enough to be going on with for the moment, Any volunteers for more examples?
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Blog on, dudes!